- Andrew Kos
- Bill Burlein
- Bryan Williams
- Christian Vozar
- Jeff Brown
- John Kraus
- Joseph Mak
- Mark Daugherty
- Matt Van Bergen
- Melissa Geoffrion
- Michael Kang
- Michael Chan
- Michael Hodgdon
- Mike Motherway
- Molly McDaniel
- Nadia Maciulis
- Pat McLoughlin
- Paul Michelotti
- Puru Hemnani
- Rohit Srinath
- Ryan Lunka
- Tom Kelly
JavaOne, Day 1: Keynote — A Labor of Love
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I’ve already mentioned in a previous post what I found most exciting, from a personal standpoint, about the JavaOne Keynote. Indeed, the announcement about the Java App Store itself is cause for celebration. A central point of distribution would be a potentially great injection of vitality into an aging Java community.
At several points the mantra, “labor of love”, was repeated by both James Gosling and Jonathan Schwartz as a central driver for the app store. Indeed, this idea, I think, really does resonate universally with programmers. Every programmer (myself included) seems to have that side project (or collection of same) that if only others could see, might somehow take off and have a life of its own.
This idea really taps into the primal urges of coders — to create, but also to share. It really should have been the central message, delivered with all the pomp and circumstance that a keynote demands.
But that’s not the keynote that I attended. The keynote, rather, had a muted, melancholy tone, and an awkward sense of finality.
The first part of the keynote was devoted to a collection of Sun partners taking the stage and delivering various degrees of prepared comments about how a partnership with Sun is good and (sometimes obliquely) how Java is a big part of that.
Some of the partners included representatives from Verizon, Intel, RIM (whose phone unironically went off while on stage), and Sony, who at the utterance of the phrase “at a reasonable price” in reference to blu-ray technology made me feel like I had been sitting through a sales pitch all along.
Toward the end, Sun Chairman Scott McNealy, came up on stage to “address the elephant in the room”: the Oracle acquisition.
After some ambiguous language, with multiple citations of not being able to legally comment on “the details”, I ended up feeling more confused and unsure about the acquisition than had he not said anything at all.
Scott’s way of talking at some point seemed to place the blame on us with accusatory phrases like, “this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone” adopting the same tone I use when my two year old brushes her teeth with water from the toilet bowl.
Scott was eventually rescued by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (”our new boss”) who came up on stage to reinforce Oracle’s commitment to Java.
At some point in this awkward reassurance, Scott turned to Jonathan (Schwartz) and “thanked him for being a great steward of Java” and closed with “this is the last JavaOne…that I will be chairman of”. It was a bitter sweet, pseudo-emotional moment which culminated in a standing ovation. It felt like an oddly private moment despite the other 20,000 people in the room.
I have great respect for McNealy and Schwartz and their accomplishments, but the keynote could have (should have) been a celebration of Java’s new life, as evidenced through the emerging app store and almost comically parenthetical asides of new versions of Java SE, Java EE, and Java FX. Instead, it had the feeling of looking back on “the good years” and an awkward passing of the Java torch.
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